The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 6th April 2017

Top Story

Investment property sales drop in Q1
From a high base in the fourth quarter of last year, big-ticket property transactions of at least S$10 million declined substantially in the first quarter.  However, the mood in the market is decidedly positive – with much anticipation of the imminent mega transactions of Jurong Point mall, and Asia Square Tower 2 in the CBD.  “Investment market sentiment is positive and the price gap has mostly disappeared except for hotels,” said CBRE executive director, capital markets, Jeremy Lake.


Singapore Economy

Singapore private-sector growth up in March
Growth in the private sector here picked up in March to the highest level in four months on stronger expansions in output and new orders, the latest Nikkei PMI survey showed yesterday.  The headline Nikkei Singapore Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for last month rose to 52.2 from 51.4 in February, the highest reading in four months. A reading of 50 and above indicates expansion.  Improved client demand underpinned upbeat business expectations for the first time since December last year, while export sales returned to growth last month, albeit on a marginal upturn.

Financial institutions fear losing revenue to fintechs: PwC survey
Financial institutions (FIs) in Singapore are feeling the heat from the rise of fintech firms, a survey by PwC has found.  The poll, the findings of which were released on Thursday morning, found that 80 per cent of Singapore FIs are concerned about losing revenue to standalone fintech companies, up seven percentage points from last year.  Globally, 88 per cent of FIs have expressed this as a concern, up from 83 per cent a year ago.  PwC surveyed 1,308 senior management individuals from 71 countries across a variety of industries. In Singapore, 40 individuals were surveyed.

New push to help SMEs in digitalisation
The one dozen centres that provide advice and assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will launch fresh efforts to promote digitalisation among such smaller businesses this year, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann said on Wednesday.  Speaking at the SME Centre Conference 2017 at Singapore Expo, she listed the ways in which digitisation can benefit smaller businesses.


Singapore Real Estate

Chatbot helps OCBC scoop up S$10m in home loans
Banks are upping their game with financial technology (fintech), with OCBC closing more than S$10 million in home loans through its chatbot application over about three months.  It said since the launch of the specialised chatbot service for home and renovation loans in January, the bank has received more than 20,000 enquiries through it.  Named “Emma”, the home and renovation loan chatbot is powered by artificial intelligence, OCBC says.

Investors file police reports against property company
A land-banking scheme that offered attractive returns for cash investments in real estate in the United States and Canada has come under the spotlight.  Five investors who claimed they put an aggregate of more than $1 million into A2A Capital Management’s projects between 2011 and 2014 have filed police reports against A2A. It is believed that many more investors in Singapore have invested with the property development and investment firm, which lists about 15 real estate investment projects on its website.


Companies’ Brief

Capital City Group to set eyes on S-E Asia after RTO
Capital City Group, which is listing on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) via a reverse takeover (RTO) of marble producer Terratech Group, is confident of turning around Terratech’s loss-making marble production business in two years through a pipeline of development projects.  Besides an ongoing mixed-use development called Project Capital City in Johor Bahru and two other projects underway, it is also looking at new development projects in Malaysia and rest of South-east Asia.

Showdown with unitholders: Sabana Reit sets EGM for April 28
The showdown between the manager of Sabana Shariah-compliant Reit and a group of disgruntled unit holders is set to take place this month.  An extraordinary general meeting (EGM) will be convened on April 28, a Friday, at the behest of 66 unitholders who in January began a campaign against Sabana Real Estate Investment Management, citing their dissatisfaction with the Reit manager’s lacklustre performance and three years of falling distribution per unit (DPU).


Views, Reviews & Forum

New hope for Reit unitholders with SFA Amendment?
In the first of this two-part article, we explored some options available to unitholders of a Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) to hold a Reit manager accountable for its actions. In this second part, we discuss the impact of the Securities and Futures (Amendment) Act 2017, and consider whether recent events in the Reits industry will impact and shape discourse on future development of the Reits regime.

Show where S’pore shoreline was before reclamation
In land-scarce Singapore, reclamation has been a necessity.  The Republic’s land area has grown by about 25 per cent, from 580 sq km in 1965 to about 719 sq km today.  Changi Airport, Parkway Parade, Suntec City, Marina Bay Sands, the Esplanade, and the Housing Board flats in Marine Parade all stand on reclaimed land.

The future-of-government approach is important, but not easy to execute
While a Whole-of-Government approach is imperative for dealing with complex and intractable problems, it is not easily achieved as governments tend to be organised into vertical silos and important information is not shared, said former head of civil service Peter Ho. A change in culture will be needed to overcome this instinct to operate within silos, said Mr Ho, who is currently the senior adviser to the Centre for Strategic Futures, in an IPS-Nathan Lecture yesterday. Mr Ho added that, with increasing complexity, governments will also have to transform from being a direct service provider to function in a more networked manner with multiple stakeholders. Below is an excerpt from his lecture.


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

NYC developer makes first foray into Brooklyn

UK economy slowing after strong end to 2016

London home completions forecast to fall

Concern over Beijing’s latest housing curbs

China reins in speculation in new economic zone

Seven arrested in new China economic zone real estate frenzy: Report

Forest City project: Penalty for China buyers who seek to cancel purchase

Asia investors eyeing infrastructure, says wealth manager

Exchange traded funds set for explosive growth in Asia

India, Pakistan clash over Jinnah House

Toronto Home Prices Just Jumped Another 33%


Additional Articles of Interest – Local & Overseas Real Estate

Local & Overseas Real Estate – Full Article

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